A little while ago, i decided that rather than waffle about day to day random rubbish which is of little or no interest to anyone, i'd try and keep this blog entirely cycling related. The problem with that is that sometimes i do precious little in the way of cycling related stuff. Take this week for instance. Primarily it has involved arseing around with cars, getting the first points i have had on my licence, trying to catch up on sleep and house stuff. The weather has been rubbish and all in all i'd say i'm feeling a little down in the dumps. Everything i have done has taken an inordinate amount of effort - probably due to being exhausted rather than karma or bad luck - and has more often than not turned right around and smacked me in the face.
Anyways, i could go on moaning but no one wants to hear that, right? what we want here is some stiff upper lip and to make lemonade out of lemons etc etc.
Some good stuff: Daisy has been bouncing in the jumperoo, eating everything we put within arms reach and just generally being a wee star.
We went to see Clan Donald in the 'ferry. We had a great time, but it was humbling to see them deal with 4 kids when it seems quite time consuming (if rewarding) having but 1. Mike and i escaped for a couple of hours and rode some of the quieter backroads near Glamis Castle. Despite a brisk wind it was an excellent ride, with great company. Thanks Mike!
I have also been re-experimenting with Micheladas. These beer-based drinks - composed similarly to a bloody mary - are a like 'em or love 'em sort of thing. So far i am liking the 50:50 mix of clamato, negro modelo with 8 dashes of worcestershire sauce and 3 dashes of tabasco and the squeeze of 1/3 lemon, 4 ice cubes and a squeeze of lime version, but i'm trying alternatives. We'll see where it goes...
Bristol Bike Fest is approaching rapidly, So rapidly infact that i am almost entirely anti-prepared. I have done almost zero riding recently, my sleep has been terrible and i have a million and one things on my mind. Still, today i finally pulled my finger out and decided what bike i was going to ride. It is no secret amongst those who know me how broken i was after the race last year. The course was quite rough and unbeknownst to me my seat post was gradually walking out of my frame due to excessive flex (my fault in asking so much of the seat post, rather than a design flaw i'd hasten to add - now fixed with a reinforcement sleeve internally in the post). My wrists and back got an absolute shoe-ing. Perhaps driving 8 hours the day before, after clearing up to go on holiday to Switzerland, and driving down through France the next day was part of it, but i was pretty broken.
Needless to say i have been having an internal dialogue about whether i am able to cope with such a bumpy course this year and still try to do well (2nd last year). I doubt it: Lack of fitness, saddle time and fear are all part of it, but i just dont think i would be able to do the 12 hours.
So my initial thoughts were to singlespeed the Vertigo, perhaps with a magic gear ratio, or run the 29er snow rim on the front of the pink bike and hope the added floatation was sufficient. I had also hoped to have ridden both options in ernest so as to make a reasonable decision. Ha!....
I had held off on singlespeeding the Vertigo: i felt it would be a time sink and i wasnt convinced that i really *wanted* to. It is set up really nice at present and i just didnt want to meddle. Then my friend shaggy gave me a bit of a course report. Seems there has been quite a lot of work done by the Bristol Trail Fairies and many of the bumpier areas have been somewhat smoothed. With his description my mind was cast back and i started sweating. I *knew* that at hour 7 or 8 i was going to want that fox fork up front. So i set to work. Using the fixmeup! program described in a previous post, i knew i had 3 or so options that would give me the gear i wanted. I might have needed to use a old or a brand new chain to get the tension juuuust right, but with very little work indeed, the first ratio i tried (and the preferred one) slipped on with perfect tension. Damn! fixmeup! and a good tape measure worked a charm!...
So, i'll desperately try to get a ride on this bike this week prior to leaving for Bristol, but with the volume of precipitation, i'm not banking on it, but at least when i hit those roots on the sweet singletrack of Ashton Court i'll be smiling and flying rather than wincing.